Book Review–A Mango-shaped Space by Wendy Mass



This is the 10th book from my 115 in 2015 Reading Challenge.


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A Mango-shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Published January 1st, 2005 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Mia Winchell has synesthesia, the mingling of perceptions whereby a person can see sounds, smell colors, or taste shapes. Forced to reveal her condition, she must look to herself to develop an understanding and appreciation of her gift in this coming-of-age novel.




 As a creative person, I am fascinated by synesthesia. Have been ever since I read R.J. Anderson’s Ultraviolet and learned that it was a real thing. <–I also highly recommend that book if you are at all interested in synesthesia and if you liked this book.


The plot is a coming-of-age one, which I love. While I suspected Mango’s later fate, for the most part the plot kept me on my toes. There really wasn’t much to the plot, but there also didn’t need to be.


I could relate to the setting, which is out in the country. I grew up in a similar sounding place, so in a way I felt like I was back home. It was very accurate.


I like that the characters in this actually felt like a real people. They all had flaws.

Mia, the main character, has synesthesia. The author did a great job showing how it benefited and made life harder for her. She felt like a real 13-year-old, too–kind of silly, creative, intro personal but not super quiet. I liked her and felt I could relate to her well.

I liked her entire family, actually, especially Mango the cat.

I also enjoyed Roger, one of Mia’s classmates, and Billy, a small boy who touches Mia’s life.


The relationships between the family members and Mia, as well as with one another, are realistic. I particularly like the one between Mia and her little brother.

Mia also has an interesting relationship with her friend, Jenna. Jenna was hard for me to warm up to, but ended up being likable.

Roger and Mia’s relationship was pretty cute. I would have liked to see how that evolved over the next few years.


The writing and voice definitely sound like a young girl who is Mia’s age. The descriptions were all very well done, almost to the point to where I could see what Mia was.


When I read the title and tied it in to the character, I suspected how things might eventually end. What I didn’t suspect was how hard it would come at me. Maybe it’s because of my own loss last year with my own furbabies, but the end just tore me apart. Very emotional.


Overall this was a pretty good read and I would recommend it, especially for the target audience.






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